05 Jun '11, 8pm

Russia enters world of Islamic finance

Russia enters world of Islamic finance

KAZAN, Russia: Hoping to attract Arab capital, Russia will take its first step into the world of Islamic finance in June by issuing sukuk, Islamic bonds which comply with Muslim religious rules. The bonds are to be issued by the majority Muslim Russian republic of Tatarstan in the Volga region, which has embarked on an ambitious drive to attract foreign investment. "Russia will show that it can be interesting for Muslim countries," one of the project's backers, Linar Yakupov told AFP. "Right now Islamic banks cannot work in Russia, because our legislation does not take into account the Koran's restrictions." Islam forbids borrowing or paying with interest, and sukuk (the plural of the Arabic word for a financial deed) are not based on debt like traditional bonds. Instead, buying the bonds secures partial ownership in a concrete asset like land or a building, and investors ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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